Photos: Ministry of Interior
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is the first EU Agency in the home affairs area to hold a meeting of its management board in Sofia during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The 68th Management Board meeting, and first of 2018, which took place on 7-8 February, was opened by the Bulgarian Minister of Interior, Valentin Radev. “We rely on the Agency for strengthening the capacity to protect the EU’s external borders. Border security is a key issue for the EU and for all EU citizens”, Minister Radev stated. He informed participants about the significant decrease of 84 % in the migratory pressure to Bulgaria and emphasised the active participation of Bulgaria’s Border Police in the activities coordinated by Frontex.
During the meeting, the heads of the border and coast guard services of the EU Member States and the Schengen associated countries discussed topics of regular interest, including the report of the activities during the previous year and planning for the current year, a presentation of the operational situation, and the implementation of the roadmap for the operationalisation of the Agency in compliance with the Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG).
The Management Board elected Mr Carlos Moreira from Portugal to be Deputy Chairperson. He will assist the duties of the Chairperson, Mr Marko Gašperlin from Slovenia, for a period of four years.
After the meeting, Frontex Management Board Members paid a field visit to the Kalotina Border Crossing Point. On the spot, they were acquainted with the situation along the Bulgarian-Serbian border and with the activities of the Common Contact Centre for Police and Customs Cooperation between Bulgaria and Serbia. The video surveillance and radiation control systems were presented to the guests. They also watched the examination of trucks at the border with CO2 detectors.
“I am proud of the achieved excellent collaboration,” said Frontex Executive Director, Fabrice Leggeri, during his talks with the Agency’s guest officers and Bulgarian border guards, who are working together at Kalotina Border Crossing Point. The Bulgarian side expressed its high appreciation of the support provided by the Agency and the other Member States.